Two better than one: KHS packaging machines now also with Rockwell drives
The KHS Group now provides the drive technology for its packaging plant technology in two different variants. As customs and standards on some markets are very different, in offering two versions the systems supplier is now much more flexible regarding the worldwide sale of its lines and machines.
From hybrid system to twin standard
Regarding servodrive technology in machines, the world has two prime manufacturers: Siemens and Rockwell Automation. In the past packaging machines from KHS were mostly equipped with a hybrid system, in which the programmable logic controller (PLC) and visualization were either from Siemens or Rockwell and Indramat motors from Bosch Rexroth were used as standard for the servotechnology. In the course of further technical development and standardization KHS decided to opt for PLCs and Simotion D from Siemens for the future. Siemens technology is not the preferred system everywhere in the world, however, explains Karl-Heinz Klumpe, packaging product manager for KHS in Kleve. “We’ve thus now been able to find an equivalent system specially for the North American market, which is dominated by Rockwell Automation, in order to continue to fully satisfy the demands of our customers.”
Different standard, same technology
This solution is not completely new to the systems supplier, however; the Rockwell system has been used in servodrive technology on KHS filling systems since 2008 – firstly, because most of the plant engineering for the American market is built at the KHS production site in Waukesha in Wisconsin, USA, and secondly, because there was a market demand for it very early on.
KHS meets customer demands worldwide
“For us it was important to close this niche – which to date we’d only exploited in individual cases – by producing a standard,” emphasizes Klumpe. “We can now service any request worldwide with our systems because we supply two respectively universal systems with components from the two leading manufacturers.” In practice this means that KHS servodrives of the latest Rockwell Kinetix 5700 generation and, analogous to this, the Siemens Simotion D series are used, both of which have an availability of well over ten years and thus give KHS customers long-term security.